How is a great idea born? Certainly not from the blood boiled, cholesterol stuffed human products of child therapy, voice placement lessons, and intensive yoga retreats. Cell phone microphones glued to their ear and a Big Mac wrapper stuck to their heels. If you do not recognize the visual signs of these types then perhaps is would be easier to follow the sounds of griping, groaning, and complaining these individuals tend to make during a typical day. I must make it rather clear here that word Complaining is not meant to be confused with the word complaint, as complaints are notably at the forefront of many a great idea. Take Ferruccio Lamborghini’s life’s accomplishments for example.
In 1945, Ferruccio Lamborghini was a middle-class Italian farmer who built several tractors in his garage out of leftover army surplus from the residuals of World War II. The gospel soon spread throughout the near-by towns of the powerful, high quality tractors he was producing. The orders for his tractors sky-rocketed, leaving no choice but to expand his production space again and again until he became one of the wealthiest men in Italy.
Ferruccio’s newfound wealth eventually sparked a taste for high dollar, high-performance, highly sought after vehicles. In time, Ferruccio gathered a rather impressive collection of GT automobiles. Mercedes SL300, Jaguar, and Ferrari were among his most notable. During an inquisition to the Ferrari manufacturing plant in Modena to confront Enzo Ferrari himself about an issue he had noticed with the Ferrari’s clutch. Ferruccio was appalled when Enzo Refused consideration to any of his advice, and basically told him to get bent along side a stallion rhinoceros bull during the height of mating season, in so many words.
Some of you Yupsters may be speculating Ferruccio ran home to his mommy, called an emergency session with his psychiatrist, and then filed suit for heinous disturbance to his already battered inner child. Hell no, he built his own damn GT… the infamous Lamborghini GT. This was not out of spite however. This moment simply opened his eyes to the need for a higher quality, high performance vehicle in the market. Becoming a rather painful burr in the side of Mr. Ferrari as his fame and Lamborghini line flourished… priceless. Speaking of burrs…
In 1948, during a rustic hike into a mountainside, two men on opposite sides of the globe with accompanied canine companions with coordination issues fell victim to a vicious patch of burrs. These men were known as John W. Leech Jr. and George de Mestral. When John returned home from his hike, he spent three hours combing the burrs out of his dog; then another four hours complaining to his wife, three children, neighbor, milkman, and seamstress.
Unfortunately for Georges’ unlucky Fido, he was walked long and put away thorny, so to speak. George had other things on his mind on that particular day when he returned home; notably the difficulty in removing the stubborn invading burrs that Fido had passed onto his pants. Curiosity overtook him as he began to inspect this phenomenon under a microscope. He found tiny hooks on the burrs enabling them to cling to the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants. Describing this phenomenon as a combination of the two words velour and crochet, he called it Velcro.
Multi-millions of dollars later for George and three bypass surgeries later for John, Fido got in the mix and patented the Burr-Eliminating Lycra doggy body suit. This fabric would later be reformulated into sexy disco attire for drunken college students. Okay, so the last two sentences may be stretching the truth a bit.
In time, every moment must at some point come full circle, and with this article we have gone from exotic cars to sticky fabrics, which leaves us no other choice than to continue back around to the Post-It-Note. Why the Post-It-Note you might ask? Because it represents the first stage of most any life-changing idea… failure! It was Dr. Spensor Silva who was the originator of the notes glue formula; its failed formula I should say. Designed to paste together items such as Aunt Mildred’s dismembered Rudolph to her favorite ceramic fruit cake plate; the glue fell flat. I should rather say that the trial items they glued fell flat… flat on the floor!
One of Spensor’s colleagues, Art Fry, noticed that as the items fell apart, they remained tacky, and could be momentarily stuck back together time and again. This mishap gave Fry a revelation. What if the glue was used on something light, such as a piece of paper? He sampled some glue onto a piece of paper… and presto; a reusable, non-slip bookmark that later developed into the most popular method used today for leaving notes in the office and laboratory.
When life hands you bull crap… You take the bull by the horn, and make sirloin!